We’re continuing to look at Jesus as He teaches His disciples about the End Times. He’s telling them what He’ll be looking for at His return. The Lord will be rewarding those who are found faithfully fulfilling their calling.
However, Christ knows that there will be another group of leaders in the church. He gives this as a warning not to be a part of this.
“But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.”
Luke 12:45-46 NIV
The Lord talks about leaders who are only thinking about themselves. They act like the purpose of the church is to fulfill their every want and desire. They have no thought to what will happen at the return of Christ.
Church leaders – shepherds of the flock – should be feeding, guiding, and protecting their people. That’s what their calling is about. There’s no place in the body of Christ for self-serving ministers.
Jesus says that these leaders eat, drink, and get drunk. This reminds me of another End Time teaching that the Lord gave to His disciples. It’s near the end of Luke’s Gospel, so we haven’t looked at it yet. Here’s a preview.
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.”
Luke 21:34 NIV
Jesus warns that the Last Days will be marked by these three things. It’s an exact description of our society without Christ.
Dissipation is using up all of our resources – time, money, talent and strength – on things that have no eternal value. Spiritual drunkenness is becoming intoxicated with the things of the world. Anxiety is focusing on all the fearful things around us rather than looking to Christ and His Word.
It’s unfortunate, but there’s a segment of church leadership that falls into this category. They need to heed the Lord’s warning before it’s too late. If not, they run the risk of losing out on their rewards.
The NIV translation, above, makes it seem like they’re unsaved. That’s actually not the case.
The phrase, cut him to pieces, means severely scourged in the Greek. That’s being lashed with a whip with pieces of glass or metal at the ends. It brings deep lacerations. The above verse could also be read that he was assigned a place with the unfaithful.
This goes along with what Paul wrote to the Corinthians. He explained about the works we do for God.
…his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 NIV
These self-serving leaders will seem to be living large now, but they’ll have no future rewards. We should be building now, for eternity. We have to be careful that we don’t make our ministry all about us.
I believe that the scourging Jesus talks about, is watching all of our works go up in smoke. They’ll still be saved, but with nothing to show for it.
I want to have an eternal reward to look forward to. That means I need to be faithful to the Lord’s calling right now. Yes, it’s hard sometimes, when I look at what others are doing. But I’m not out to please them or compete with them.
Our calling is to seek God’s face and fulfill His calling in us.
Question: What is God calling you to do in His kingdom?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi